Green Power's bankruptcy case may be dismissed

Tri-City Herald Staff WriterMarch 21, 2014 

Green Power Sun

The Port of Pasco is evicting Green Power, a tenant since 2007, from the Big Pasco Industrial Park.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

— A troubled Pasco biofuels company’s attempt to seek bankruptcy protection may have failed.

The U.S. trustee assigned to Green Power’s bankruptcy case asked a judge on Friday to dismiss the case, citing the company’s lack of an attorney and insurance.

The company also failed to file all the information needed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Judith Calhoun, Green Power’s acting CEO, had asked the court for more time to file the information, claiming she couldn’t access Green Power’s records.

The company’s founder and CEO, Michael Spitzauer, currently is in federal custody in Yakima waiting for a trial on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering that are connected to his business.

The Port of Pasco, Green Power’s landlord, is trying to evict the company from the Big Pasco Industrial Park.

And Franklin County is waiting to finalize a $58,700 auction of some of the company’s equipment and tools to pay for unpaid personal property taxes.

Both those actions are waiting on the outcome of the bankruptcy case, which Calhoun filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Seattle.

The port already had asked the bankruptcy judge if could continue with its Franklin County Superior Court case to evict the company.

Port Executive Director Randy Hayden said the bankruptcy case has put the eviction on hold. If the bankruptcy case is dismissed, then the eviction can move forward.

On Friday morning, the trustee submitted an order dismissing the case but it still needs a judge’s signature.

If the case is dismissed, Green Power would not be able to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for at least six months, according the court’s website. But after Friday’s hearing, Calhoun filed a motion asking for an extension so she could hire an attorney.

She wrote that the company lacks money now to hire an attorney, but that income is expected because the company is being sold.

Calhoun could not be reached Friday afternoon.

Calhoun previously told the Herald that Green Power is being sold to Atlantis Renewable Energy Systems, which she said is a Delaware company that includes several U.S. and international investors.

However, a check of public records shows Calhoun recently filed to incorporate a company by the same name — Atlantis Renewable Energy Systems — in Washington and listed herself as the sole owner.

Calhoun, who also is Green Power’s vice president of finance, previously confirmed that Atlantis is the company buying Green Power and that she’s one of Atlantis’ owners. She then declined to answer any more questions.

Bankruptcy records show Green Power claims it has $10 million in assets, including a partially built plant in Pasco, while 14 creditors say the company owes them $30.5 million.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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